RE: [OPE] Understanding Value and Use-Value

Date: Tue Apr 28 2009 - 08:20:53 EDT

>>> How can zero goods have a non-zero cost?
>> Ever hear of 'fixed costs'?
> The fixed costs must be assigned to earlier or later periods.

Hi Phil:
This is not merely or primarily an accounting issue: of course,
the accountants can play around with the numbers and assign
costs to different periods in which they occurred.
The following should suffice for an explanation of how
zero goods can have a non-zero cost.
Consider the following moment: before capitalist production can
commence, the firm must purchase constant capital. Yet, typically,
there is a temporal lag when the time when C is purchased and
delivered and when the production site is built and organized
efficiently. During this time, zero goods have been produced
but the cost - due to fixed costs - is greater than zero. This
is important for the firms: it is a major reason why they
try to rush into production: i.e. because they recognize that
during this period they are not only not making money but are
actually losing money so they try to shorten the period as
much as possible.
On a related note, whether the transferred value of means
of production will equal what the means of production are
capable of depends on how efficiently the means of production
are utilized, including the degree of capacity utilization.
These aren't merely problems for accountants - they are
problems for manufacturing engineers, designers, and managers
- and can also be problems, in other kinds of ways, for
Fixed costs, though, also present potential opportunities for
workers. If there is a strike, the presence of fixed costs,
including rent (and firm indebtedness, if there is any)
means that the firm isn't merely not making money during
the strike - they are actually losing money while there is
a strike. This is a strong incentive to reach a
settlement with the union or break the impasse in others ways
such as employing strikebreakers.
In solidarity, Jerry
ope mailing list
Received on Tue Apr 28 08:24:21 2009

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